A U.S. aircraft carrier group has entered the South China Sea, the U.S. military said on Sunday (January 24), at a time when tensions between China and Taiwan are raising concern in Washington.
Just days into U.S. President Joe Biden's administration, which says its commitment to Taiwan is "rock-solid".
The carriers entered the South China Sea on Saturday, the same day Taiwan reported a large incursion of Chinese bombers and fighter jets into its air space in the vicinity of the Pratas Islands.
The U.S. military said its carriers, led by the USS Theodore Roosevelt, were conducting routine operations, quote, "to ensure freedom of the seas."
Taipei reported more Chinese incursions on Sunday.
China views democratically ruled Taiwan as its own territory, and has in the past few months increased military activity near the island.
But this weekend marked an escalation. China dispatched fighters and bombers, rather than reconnaissance aircraft, as had generally been the case. Beijing has not yet commented.
Washington urged China on Saturday to stop pressuring Taiwan and reaffirmed its commitment to the island and desire to deepen ties.